Credit points


Campus offering

Find out more about study modes.

Unit offerings may be subject to minimum enrolment numbers.

Please select your preferred campus.

  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Campus Attendance
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Campus Attendance
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Campus Attendance


CHEM105 Foundations of Chemistry


CHED112 Organic and Food Chemistry

Unit rationale, description and aim

An understanding of the organic chemistry of food macromolecules, within the context of food science, is key for working within the food and nutrition industry. In this unit students will develop an understanding of the roles that major macromolecules play within foods at the chemical level. The unit is divided into two modules; organic chemistry and food chemistry, and students will learn about the physical, biological, and chemical composition of food, as well as the functions of chemicals in food. The aim of this unit is to help students develop an essential understanding of the theory and techniques employed to analyse the nutrient composition of food as it relates to food content and health claims.   

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Describe the structure of organic compounds and associated organic chemistry reaction mechanisms according to the functional groups they possessGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7
LO2Relate the isomerism of organic compounds to their importance in biological and medicinal contextsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8
LO3Describe key concepts related to free energy and biologically relevant electrochemistry reaction spontaneityGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7
LO4Explain the functions of key chemical components of foodsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8
LO5Demonstrate competence in the practical skills and techniques used in organic and food chemistry and analysis of experimental resultsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC7, GC8


Topics will include:  

Module A: Organic Chemistry   

  • Fuels and hydrocarbons 
  • Conjugation, aromaticity and reactions of aromatic compounds  
  • Chemical structure and reactions between organic compounds with different functional groups  
  • Stereoisomerism  

Module B: Food Chemistry 

  • Free energy and reaction spontaneity  
  • Physical, biological, and chemical composition of biomolecules (e.g., macromolecules) in food (carbohydrates, protein, lipids, water)  
  • Food composition analysis 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit uses an active learning approach with interactive lecture chats, workshops and online learning activities. The online learning activities allow students to build the foundational knowledge necessary to successfully meet the learning outcomes and (by self-evaluating their understanding) to identify areas of uncertainty prior to workshop classes. Workshops will build on the foundational knowledge acquired through these activities. This approach allows students to work at their own pace to gain familiarity with the concepts and applications, and supports revision and integration of the various topics as the unit progresses. Online learning activities allow in-depth exploration of concepts and applications relevant to the students’ future professions whilst lecture chat and workshop classes enable students to explore the structure and functions of the human body in a supported environment.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment strategies is used in this unit to determine achievement of the intended learning outcomes. 


These quizzes are held mid-way through each module and assess knowledge of key introductory organic and food chemistry concepts; integral to provide students with feedback as they progress through the unit. 

Practical assessment 

The practical assessment provides students the opportunity to demonstrate development of their practical and analytical skills relevant to food and organic chemistry, through collection and interpretation of laboratory data. Students will need to demonstrate competence in critical thinking and problem-solving, common laboratory techniques and laboratory etiquette, recording of measurements, and evaluation of experimental results.  


Final examinations assess the organic chemistry and food chemistry contents separately. These exams are conducted at the end of each module and provide students an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the relevant theoretical content taught throughout the unit. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes


The quizzes assess understanding of relevant topic learning outcomes and are conducted mid-way through each module. 

10% (Module A) 

10% (Module B)

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Practical Assessment

Enables students to demonstrate practical application of knowledge and skills developed in the unit. 


LO2, LO5


Enable students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of unit content. One examination will be conducted mid-semester to assess the organic chemistry content whereas the second examination will be held at the end of semester to assess the food chemistry content. 

25% (Module A)

25% (Module B)

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references

Belitz, H, Grosch, W and Schieberle, P 2009, Food chemistry, 4th edn. Springer-Verlag, New York.  

Coultate, T 2015, Food: The chemistry of its components, 6th edn. Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge.    

Croxford S & Stirling E 2017, Understanding the science of food: From molecules to mouthfeel, Allen & Unwin Academic, Crows Nest.  

Vaclavik V & Christian EW 2014, Essentials of food science, 4th edn, Springer-Verlag, New York.  

Velisek, J 2014 The chemistry of food, Wiley-Blackwell, Milton.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs